Tenoch Huerta From "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" Is Also an Author and Advocate
Tenoch Huerta plays primary antagonist Namor in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." In the Marvel comics, Namor hails from an underwater kingdom later called Talokan, whose inhabitants have a vested distaste for the aboveground world. Director Ryan Coogler said the underwater kingdom is "deeply inspired by Mesoamerican cultures, specifically from the Yucatán and the Mayan postclassic period," per The New York Times.
"He's got really unique features and things that don't necessarily go together," Coogler told Entertainment Weekly of Namor. "He can breathe underwater, obviously, but he's got these little wings on his ankles. He's got pointy ears and walks around in his underwear. It's all fun, man."
Huerta hails from Mexico, where he's had great cinematic success, though "Wakanda Forever" marks his biggest venture yet into American film. "I come from the hood. Seriously. And thanks to inclusion, I'm here," he said in an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con in July, per Deadline. "I wouldn't be here without inclusion and a lot of kids are here in their hoods looking at us, dreaming to be here. And they [can] make it."
In a Nov. 8 interview with Digital Spy, Huerta, who has Nahua and Purépecha Indigenous ancestry, elaborated on his character's significance, saying that the character's Mayan roots meant a lot to him. "[I]t was a fantastic move and I think now is the perfect moment to speak about it," he said. He continued, "In Latin America, especially Mexico, we deny our Indigenous roots. It's just like a token sometimes. In general terms, we deny it because it's not about genes for us, because almost everybody in Mexico has Indigenous or African roots — it's about culture." He continued that he hopes "this helps people embrace who they are . . . They taught us to be ashamed of who we are, but it's time to cut it off and say: 'Yeah, this is who I am and I never had anything wrong with me.' . . . The mistake was in the eyes who were looking at us, who were judging us . . . "
Here's more information about Huerta.
Tenoch Huerta Got His Start in the Mexican Film Industry
Huerta was born in Ecatepec de Morelos, Mexico, per El Mañana. His father enrolled him in courses with María Elena Saldaña when he was a child, per Newsbeezer, and he later studied with Carlos Torres Torrija and Luis Felipe Tovar. He made his acting debut in "Asi del Precipicio" in 2006, and played lead role Li'l Mago in Cary Joji Fukunaga's film "Sin Nombre" in 2009, and he has starred in many features since then. He has been nominated for an Ariel Award, which highlights the best of Mexican cinema, five times, winning for his role in the 2012 movie "Días de Gracia."
Huerta has also appeared in a number of franchises over the years. He played Mexican wrestler Blue Demon in the 65-episode Spanish telenovela of the same name from 2016 to 2017, per IMDb, and began playing Rafael Caro Quintero in Netflix's "Narcos: Mexico" in 2018. He also starred in the fifth Purge movie, "Forever Purge," in 2021.
Tenoch Huerta Is a Science Enthusiast
Huerta has spoken out about his love of science before, telling the Golden Globes's Gabriel Lerman in 2021, "I'm quite a fanatic. Practically most of the YouTube channels I follow are science related, or of historians, languages or philosophers. For example, I understood perfectly how CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) works, the gene editing method."
Tenoch Huerta Is an Advocate For Therapy
Huerta also opened up to Lerman about his belief in the importance of therapy. "Let me be clear that I'm a great fan of therapy and I recommend it every time I can," he said in the interview.
Tenoch Huerta Has Written a Book
Huerta is outspoken about colorism and racism in Mexico and wrote a book called "Orgullo Prieto" — which translates to "Brown Pride" — about the issue. "What emotion! My first book is almost here, Orgullo Prieto, a reflection of racism and classism in Mexico. (Ahhh! Now anyone can write books 🤭)," he wrote in a post about the project, per Remezcla. "Mexico is a racist country? Of course it is! I hope that this book helps brown people feel proud of their Black and brownness. Even the light-skinned, who are bayos, are also beans." The book is set to be released on Dec. 13.
Tenoch Huerta's Time in the MCU Is Almost Certainly Not Over
In the comics, Namor is a powerful character who is centrally featured in a ton of different stories, meaning that he'll likely be back in future MCU projects. He fights with the X-Men and works with the Avengers, and he's often a rival of the Fantastic Four, per The Ringer, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Huerta is also open to a solo feature. "I would like it but I don't know," he told Digital Spy of a Namor movie. "It depends on what Kevin Feige says he wants. It depends on the inbox. It depends on the people, and how many tickets they buy. So please: buy a lot of tickets."